Beginning with the big scale of 1/72, here is another model made from the recent Hobby Boss Grumman F8F-1s, this time in the markings of the 1st Fighter Bomber Wing of the Royal Thai Air Force in the mid 1950s. The obvious difference between a F8F-1 and a F8F-1B is that the latter replaced the .50 cal machine guns with 20mm cannon, so this is one of the latter too. There’s not much more that needs to be said about this kit than I’ve already written, suffice it to say that I like it. I’m tempted to make some more F8Fs because they are such a good looking aeroplane, but I think it might be time to move on to some F9Fs, which Hobby Boss also make kits for.
I’m always on the look out for kits of Australian made aeroplanes and this one turned up in one of those on-line catalogues. The tiny 1/144 kit of the GippsAero GA8 Airvan is offered by bsd-online and is a very simple and basic resin kit. The trick in making this is in getting the parts to fit together and then trying to make them look something like the real aeroplane. The decal sheet is pretty good but had markings for a German registered machine so I found one with Australian colours instead on the internet. I quite like the look of this model and its small scale forgives the lack of detail which would be highly evident on a larger scale model.
While we’re in resin kits in 1/144 here is another of the Anigrand ‘bonus’ kits. In that box it is said to be a Beech F-2 photo-reconnaissance aeroplane which is a version of the Beech C-45 which is, in turn, a military version of the gorgeous Beech 18 light transport. I gave some thought to trying to find an Australian livery for this one but the ones I found were all too complex for me to do in this scale so I simply used the decals that came with the kit, which are generic but look fairly attractive. It looks more or less like a Beech 18 if you don’t look too hard.
Once more in resin and 1/144 is this F-Rsin Sud Ouest SO.30 Bretagne. This pretty little airliner did not prove very popular because it had to compete with the likes of Douglas DC-3s after the war and so not many were made. The kit is fairly simple to put together but requires more than a little work to bring it up to a reasonable standard with a lot of filling, sanding and reshaping. The overall colour is SMS Aluminum lacquer which is a good and tough paint that gives a good representation of unpainted metal in /144. The decals were a real problem and the colours really need to be more dense to do justice to this model, but I leave the challenge of achieving that to somebody more skilled than I. I’m just happy to have a model of this interesting and pretty little airliner.
Out of the Time Vault
Here is the ancient 1/144 Airfix Sud Aviation Caravelle kit which wasn’t so old when I made this model in 1984. If my memory is correct, this is the first airliner model I completed and, in this United Airliners livery, is probably the first model on which I used after-market decals. It’s interesting to see that the white paint has not yellowed after all these years, many airliners I’ve made much more recently have gone remarkably yellow. On the other hand, the decals have shown signs of decay though it may be the glue that has yellowed rather than the decals themselves.
Another model I completed in 1984 was this Hasegawa 1/72 Sea Harrier FRS.1 in the markings of 899 NAS during the Falklands War. Good kits generally build up into good looking models.